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Letters (Jan 28, 2015)

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To whom it may concern,

I enjoy reading about home. Thank you for the pleasure of reading the best and most honest newspaper in America.

To all those know me (Big 'B'), I am sad to say I won't be returning to Mendocino County after my stay here in the California Department of Corrections is complete later this year. I'm doing life on the installment plan and it has taken its toll on me and I'm starting over with my woman away from everyone and everything I know. While I've been locked up in the last couple of years, I've lost a lot of friends that I've known for years to the effects and results of long-term to drug use. I want no part of drugs in my life ever again. It's taken my freedom for over 25 years and made me behave as someone I do not want to be. I've lost my family and true friends. I've had enough.

To all that matters: love and respect always.

Brian 'Big B' Hartke

Sierra Conservation Center


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Dear Editor,

To honor the memory of my late husband I have hired a ballroom dance instructor to teach you and any interested Anderson Valley folks to waltz. Waltzing across the dance floor with Rod was so delightful, it will be thrilling to see other people waltzing and perhaps feeling the way we felt.

The waltz is the first dance where people embraced and some thought it to be scandalous. By today's standards I would deem it quite proper. The waltz is considered the mother of all dances and it is fairly easy to learn, especially if you have a good teacher.

We have Laura Sloan who has been a ballroom dancer, teacher and competitor for over 13 years, having started when she was only 18. Her knowledge is in over 15 different dances including Latin, swing, ballroom, country-western and international style dances.

Laura moved back to Los Angeles where she was born and started dancing straight out of high school upon graduating from Mendocino High school. She quickly excelled in the dancing and by the age of 21 became the youngest franchisee in Arthur Murray's previous history. Years later, after selling her studio in Los Angeles, Laura was asked to relocate to Arizona to manage the dance legend Bob Powers new studio. Laura happily obliged since Bob Powers was the 13-time National American Rhythm Champion and altogether her dancing Idol. She received consistent and valuable experience and knowledge while in Arizona, also traveling around the country competing in the American Rhythm dances. She received many awards and titles for her efforts in studio management and teaching throughout her career.

After leaving Arizona Laura decided to return to her beloved hometown of Mendocino and share her experience, love, passion and knowledge with the community she loves the most.

Currently, Laura works almost monthly with national and world finalist Jason Daly to better improve her own dancing as well as her teaching. Laura also loves bringing high level coaches into her studio which she currently owns and teaches out of in Fort Bragg.

Laura is happy to be sharing her passion for dance and looks forward to creating lots of happy and wonderful dancers in the community!

Instruction will be on Thursday, February 5 at the Anderson Valley Grange from 6-8pm. On all the other Thursdays in February we will be practicing at the Grange from 6-8pm. There is no charge but donations and tips will be cheerfully accepted.

Dean Titus and Susan Clark are polishing up some waltzes to be played at a dance some time in the future. Hope to see you on the dance floor.

In great anticipation,

Judy Basehore


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The history of semi-pro and non-pro baseball throughout northern California is captured on We have been searching for some time to locate former players or family members of some who may have memorabilia on town teams that played in Gualala and Point Arena as well as other towns in the area.

The Gualala Whalers who hosted teams from the Bay Area on Sunday afternoons on the Manchester diamond during the late 50s and early 60s are mentioned in a story of a game played in 1959 and written by Steve Chell who played on the visiting Menlo Park team that day, but now lives in Gualala. The story appears in the Menlo Park team section of the website.

We also have pictures of the field at Manchester in the Gualala section on the website. The Point Arena Rosebuds were also playing during this period but were part of a league that included Branscomb and Laytonville.

We welcome hearing from anyone who may be helpful in this search. Please write to or telephone (650) 342-0683. Please know that this undertaking is a hobby.

Thank you,

John Ward


ED NOTE: The Good Old Days website mentioned above is highly recommended.

Semi-pro, or town team baseball, was once a central part of life in Mendocino County. Every community had a baseball team, and weekend games were heavily attended. Fort Bragg always had a very strong team, once hosting a San Francisco team featuring all three of the DiMaggio brothers, Joe, Dominic, and Vince.

Local myth has it that the pre-War DiMags stopped in Navarro for a meal. Fort Bragg featured the young Vern Piver, who went on to play in the Dodger organization, and the Fort Bragg mill regularly hired ex-pros to flesh out the town team's roster. These guys were called “ringers.” The Good Old Days website has a photo of the Boonville team, circa 1950, and we also found a team picture of Branscomb's nine, a bunch of guys who look like football players stuffed into baseball uniforms. The state hospital at Talmage fielded a baseball team, as did several rancherias.

Quality of play varied, of course; Fort Bragg, as I recall from talking with Vern Piver, the Loggers mostly played city teams, many of which were very good, because FB was a much too much for most of the in-county teams. Yours truly played on a high school all-star team out of San Francisco sponsored by Fisherman's Grotto Number 9. This would have been 1956. We played a doubleheader in Fort Bragg during Paul Bunyan Days; I think we split. I have a more vivid memory of the Fort Bragg third baseman threatening one of my more verbal teammates. "I don't give a shit if he's a kid; he's got a big mouth," the would be child abuser yelled as he was restrained by the ump. Those were the days when regardless of age one was held accountable.

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Letter to the Editor

To the Mendocino County Mental Health Board:

The Mendocino County Mental Health Board (MHB) is supposed to encourage community input so you violate your own charge when you ask me to resign from the MHB Crisis Care Committee and the MHB Finance Committee.

The MHB mission is to enable people with severe mental illness to access services and programs that assist them … MHB members need to review their mission (WIC5600.1) and focus on carrying it out.

WIC5600.3 defines how mental health patient money should be used. Other sections define the minimum array of treatment services the money should be used for. This includes: Pre-Crisis, Crisis, and 24 hour Treatment Services, Rehabilitation and Support Services, among others. Services are to be in every geographic area and all ethnic groups should be served.

WIC5604.2 says the MHB shall do all of eight well-defined responsibilities that have been ignored. They begin with “Review and evaluate the community's mental health needs, services, facilities, and special problems.” The MHB is also supposed to report to the Supervisors “on the needs and performance of the county's mental health system.”

Please get to work as people desperately need these State-mandated services.

Sonya Nesch


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My name is Carol Bruce. I am writing you in regards to my son Richard Cole Geiger who just goes by Cole.

He was born December 16, 1986; grew up most of his life here in northern California, (Laytonville exactly) living off and on with one parent or the other. While he was still in high school and was getting ready to graduate the next month, he was in a serious atv accident on the rez here in Laytonville. He was helevac'd to Santa Rosa memorial with head trauma. His skull was crushed. It was very serious. He under went brain surgery. Nine hours later: a success. We are grateful he was able to function like normal and he wasn’t messed up like so many I have seen and heard of with the same kind of injury. But he does have some handicaps such as caffeine will get him all freaked out, he must stay out of the hot sun. Headaches, migraines, susceptible to seizures, even heart attack and strokes. Thinking out problems takes him awhile and not always choosing the right and simple answer. It takes him a bit longer to figure what would be easy for most folks. It’s just a little harder for my boy. He speaks normal seems normal looks normal, but he is yet a little bit mentally challenged. He never went back to doctors after his release from the hospital. He was there only a week.

In June of 2014 he was arrested out on Branscomb Road in Laytonville. He was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon and in possession of 24grams of meth. He spent 6 months in county an got 3 years probation and was supposed to do a 6 month rehab program. They released him from jail and he was supposed to go do that program when 2-3 months later he was arrested again at Harwood Park with yet another loaded weapon and a quarter gram of meth and he is now a felon. They are trying to send him to prison for 2 years out of all this.

Really now ain't this kind of harsh? I know of a Mexican family here in town that was busted in Ukiah with 60 pounds of meth. Yes you read right, 60 pounds of meth. Damn. They did no time, didn’t get deported, didn’t go to prison.

Where’s the justice, I ask, Your Honor! When this first started he had a spotless record. Why the harshness? It’s ok to have 60 pounds of meth? Have less than an ounce and go to prison? He had court today [Wednesday] that I missed because his public defender is too lame to return calls for his client. I wanted to tell the public defender of this situation with Cole’s medical records, that he is mentally challenged and does not deserve to go to prison. My son has a good record and is a good boy; they have him all wrong. Can you help or can my voice be heard? He can’t go to prison. It will ruin him, then there will be a point of no return. Where’s the true justice?

My name is Carol Bruce and I am the mother of Cole Geiger.

Thank you. 707-706-4696. Or 707-367-9101

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Hello all,

I am running for the at large seat for the KZYX Board of Directors again this year along with my friend Dennis O'Brien, a lawyer who has served on the Board of KMEC for many years. Together we are hoping to bring transparency, membership control (esp. of programming choices) and programmer syndication rights (as well as web based program distribution) to our only county wide community radio station.

Dennis and I are currently looking for a like minded citizen of Mendocino County to run with us from District 2 (the Ukiah area) in the hopes that, if elected, the three of us will have the leverage on the board to facilitate the changes we seek. If you are not currently a member, you must become one and then fill out the appropriate form found at by 1/30, so time is of the essence.

You are welcome to call me personally at 707-353-0469.

Thank you,

Doug McKenty


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Oh my God, what an incredible catastrophe the other day on the Willits bypass construction project! My heart goes out to those workers injured in the spectacular collapse and their families; let's all hope for a full and quick recovery from their injuries.

I also grieve for the many workers, from the engineers who drew up the plans for the span, through all the skilled tradespeople, to the lowliest laborer on the job, all of whom must be in shock over how suddenly all their skills, work and efforts had turned into a giant heap of trash before their eyes.

No doubt there will be a long investigation into exactly what caused the collapse, but let us hope that whatever agency is tasked with doing that study will have the good sense to allow the debris to be removed as soon as possible, while the concrete is still fresh, rather than delaying it until it's removal comes an enormous additional job that will have to be broken up with jackhammers.

One odd fact caught my attention in the initial reporting of the collapse; that the formwork had been built for months! I wonder why it took so long to get around to pouring the concrete? I will not be at all surprised if it is determined that the months of delay (while the support structure may have been undermined by all the rain) were the result of one meddlesome legal challenge or another; there have been so many!

Sometimes it seems like the regulatory burdens that have to be overcome to build even something that is obviously in the public interest, makes me wonder how anything ever gets built in this state!


John Arteaga


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Attention Meat Eaters:

Did you happen to see the front-page article in the New York Times on January 20 or 21? It was the top left column. It described in horrific detail what is happening to “meat” animals at a meat research center in Nebraska paid for with our tax dollars, naturally. It was so ghastly I couldn’t finish the article. The veterinarians quoted said they were appalled and repulsed at the treatment of “research” animals: sow pigs forced to have 14 piglets when they normally have 8, cows forced to have twins and triplets when nature intended for one calf, sheep so abused that most of them died in agonizing childbirth. Men may not relate to this (although the vets did), but women certainly should.

The reason for all this violence against animals? Profits, of course. Why don’t we just eat a lot less meat and dairy and let the animals live according to nature’s plan? Industry cares not a whit for the welfare and comfort of the animals, only for increasing production and profits.

Pigs are now genetically and anatomically altered so they are more elongated. This increases their belly dimensions where bacon comes from. Have you noticed that all the fast food places are now promoting bacon-this and bacon-that on the menus?

My heart aches for these animals, for the suffering and abject abuse and deprivation they endure. And we have the audacity to call ourselves civilized. No one would condone human slavery today, but we turn our backs on our animal brethren who are most certainly slaves.

No political system can shape a society, only the ethical nature of its individuals can rescue us from our barbaric defects.

This New York Times article surely ruined my day. Its information will be added to the heaps and tons of previous atrocities I’m aware of, all of which make me pray for the demise of the human species. That seems to be the only way billions of animals can catch a break and go back to being controlled by nature, not by Man.

The upside of my day was seeing a bumpersticker that said: “At least the war against the environment is going well.”

Louise Mariana


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Letter to the Editor,

I would like to respond to the misleading and false claims Mr. John Sakowicz has been making about me, personally, and KZYX.

1) The FCC has not ruled in his favor; they have asked for clarification on his claim that the station violated EEOC employee rules in my hiring. I have seen the letter and this is the only conclusion that can be reasonably drawn.

2) My hiring was not subject to EEOC rules because I was an independent contractor, working 15 or so hours a week, working from my home, using my own equipment, with no benefits, paid by the hour and invoiced to the station, paid by 1099 not a 1040 — the definition of an independent contractor. Therefore, the station was not required to make the job offer public.

3) I was not an “insider,” or “friend of management” per se with regard to the news job. I had applied for the job of news director before Dave Brooksher was hired and was known as such to the staff. I had contributed to the news several times while Dave Brooksher was the News Director (and paid as an independent contractor).

4) Dave was laid off 6.30.12. I was hired and began 7.1.12. There was no overlap.

Why Mr. Sakowicz continues to pile falsehood on top of each other while refusing to accept his own culpability is something I simply do not understand.

And, no, no one asked me to write this letter.

Paul Lambert (Member of the KZYX Board of Directors, host of the bi-weekly Mendo Matters program, and the former News reader.)


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